Navy, Marines integrating expeditionary forces into conventional amphibious operations

WASHINGTON — The expeditionary warfare group is eyeing methods to make use of all its forces in future operations, with fleet experiments looping particular operations forces, mine countermeasures sailors, Seabees and extra into conventional naval operations.

Brig. Gen. David Odom, the director of expeditionary warfare on the chief of naval operations’ workers (OPNAV N95), instructed Protection News in a March 31 interview there’s an ongoing sea providers marketing campaign of studying drawing from each coaching occasion, train and experiment the Navy and Marine Corps conduct.

Many of those occasions are starting to mix forces that — within the final 20 years, no less than — haven’t historically operated collectively.

This was demonstrated within the February 2021 Dwight D. Eisenhower Service Strike Group pre-deployment certification occasion, which — by a mixture of stay forces and simulated forces piped into the coaching state of affairs on the service’s fight methods — allowed the service strike group admiral to command SEAL platoons, particular boat detachments, and Marines conducting Expeditionary Superior Base Operations targeted on surface-to-air and surface-to-surface strike missions.

Odom mentioned that occasion was only the start of those pairings.

In mid-March, the Kearsarge Amphibious Prepared Group and components of the Navy Expeditionary Fight Command labored collectively on a Fleet Battle Downside that built-in Marines and Navy Particular Warfare items — every capable of conduct distributed operations in austere environments — with a single battle workers commanding each teams’ operations at sea and ashore.

Odom mentioned the whole vary of expeditionary forces could be affected by, and will contribute to the success of, the Distributed Maritime Operations idea that’s more and more shaping Navy and Marine Corps acquisition, coaching and operations.

Odom, the lone Marine common serving on the chief of naval operations’ workers, instructed Protection News seamlessly built-in naval warfighting is a high aim for the ocean providers. Attaining that may require pairing Marines with all arms of the expeditionary navy: mine countermeasures sailors to guarantee maritime entry within the littorals; naval particular warfare sailors to arrange the battlefield; and NECC to make sure continued entry to ports and seashores.

To that finish, N95 is working to discipline not solely the mine countermeasures mission bundle on littoral fight ships, however to combine the mission bundle with the expeditionary sea base ship and different potential “vessels of alternative.” It’s additionally rising the expeditionary mine countermeasures firms so the Navy is positioned to clear waterways and permit naval operations to renew rapidly.

Elsewhere in NECC, he mentioned, the Navy is eyeing an expeditionary reloading functionality for vertical missile launchers — one thing usually achieved on the pier — to extend the Navy’s lethality ahead underneath Distributed Maritime Operations. And the naval development battalions, or Seabees, are bolstering their port and airfield harm restore functionality, additionally in assist of DMO in distant areas.

Odom famous the Marines’ Fight Growth and Integration directorate is assessing NECC capabilities, which “will surely have a key function in Power Design, Expeditionary Superior Base Operations, [Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment], and fleet operations. In order that’s ongoing” because the Navy and Marines proceed to plan workout routines that pair completely different communities and see how they combine to assist these new ideas.

“You see the synergies” within the fleet immediately, with Marines connecting to new sorts of ships at sea and with expeditionary sailors ashore to increase their potential to see and strike, Odom mentioned.

Harkening again to the Swiss military knife nickname for amphibious warships, Odom mentioned these workout routines show Marines on amphibs can present “these multi-option capabilities that combine along with our particular ops or expeditionary forces.”

Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Protection News. She has coated army information since 2009, with a give attention to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition applications, and budgets. She has reported from 4 geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s submitting tales from a ship. Megan is a College of Maryland alumna.